Today, Obama declared that his administration has “stopped the bleeding” and “stabilized the economy.”
What planet does he live on? Every economic indicator points to his 19-month presidency as being an unmitigated economic disaster for America.
First, Obama has accomplished the signal feat of adding more to the U.S. national debt — an increase of $2.526 trillion to a total of $8.833 trillion — than all presidents from Washington through Reagan combined.
As reported by Terence P. Jeffrey of CNSNews on September 8, 2010, at the end of fiscal year 1989, which ended 8 months after President Reagan left office, the total federal debt held by the public was $2.1907 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That means all U.S. presidents from George Washington through Ronald Reagan had accumulated only that much publicly held debt on behalf of American taxpayers.
When Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009, the total federal debt held by the public stood at 6.3073 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Dept’s Bureau of the Public Debt. As of Aug. 20, 2010, after 19 months in office, the Obama administration managed to accumulate $8.833 in total federal debt, an increase of $2.5260 trillion.
Nor is this Bush’s fault. In just the last 4 months (May through August), according to the CBO, the Obama administration has run cumulative deficits of $464 billion, more than the $458 billion deficit the Bush administration ran through the entirety of fiscal 2008.
The first two fiscal years in which Obama has served will see the two biggest federal deficits as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product since the end of World War II of 9.9% and 9.1%, respectively.
If that doesn’t grab your attention, how about this: The U.S. national debt is now more than all the money in the world!
Kevin Williamson of NationalReview.com informs us, on September 9, that our national debt is between $70 trillion and what some say is the real national debt of $130 trillion.
Even the lower end figure of $70 trillion means the U.S. debt exceeded more than all the money in the world. In 2008, the entire supply of money in the world (“broad money,” i.e., global M3, meaning cash, consumer-account deposits, checkable accounts, CDs, long-term deposits, travelers’ checks, money-market funds, the whole enchilada) was estimated to be just under $60 trillion.
Our third and last economic indicator is the number of poor Americans. Under Obama, America’s poverty rate has gone from 13.2% to 15%.
Hope Yen and Liz Sidoti of the Associated Press report on September 12, 2010 that the number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on Obama’s watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.
Census figures for 2009 — the recession-ravaged first year of Obama’s presidency — are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings. Interviews with six demographers who closely track poverty trends found wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase from 13.2% to the range of 14.7% to 15%.
Should those estimates hold true, some 45 million people in this country, or more than 1 in 7, were poor last year. It would be the highest single-year increase since the government began calculating poverty figures in 1959. The all-time high was 22.4% in 1959, the first year the government began tracking poverty. It dropped to a low of 11.1% in 1973 after Johnson’s war on poverty but has since fluctuated in the 12-14% range.
Demographers also expect the report will show:
- Child poverty increased from 19% to more than 20%.
- Blacks and Latinos were disproportionately hit, based on their higher rates of unemployment.
- Metropolitan areas that posted the largest gains in poverty included Modesto, Calif.; Detroit; Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.; Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Hispanics and blacks — traditionally solid Democratic constituencies — could be inclined to stay home in November if, as expected, the Census Bureau reports that many more of them were poor last year.
Experts say a jump in the poverty rate could mean that the liberal viewpoint — social constraints prevent the poor from working — will gain steam over the conservative position that the poor have opportunities to work but choose not to because they get too much help.
In 2008, the poverty level stood at $22,025 for a family of four, based on an official government calculation that includes only cash income before tax deductions. It excludes capital gains or accumulated wealth. It does not factor in noncash government aid such as tax credits or food stamps, which have surged to record levels in recent years under the federal stimulus program.
Beginning next year, the government plans to publish new, supplemental poverty figures that are expected to show even higher numbers of people in poverty than previously known. The figures will take into account rising costs of medical care, transportation and child care, a change analysts believe will add to the ranks of both seniors and working-age people in poverty.
H/t beloved fellows Steve, Igor, and Anon!
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